Intensive networking as PhD students visited Ovako

At the end of October, a meeting was organized for the Steel Academy PhD Network in Hofors. The doctoral students enjoyed two eventful days of personal meetings, networking, lectures, and guided tours of Ovako's facilities and the Dalavind wind park.

During the two-day meeting of the Steel Academy PhD Network in Hofors, one of the program points was for the doctoral students to present their research work to each other and representatives from Ovako. Photo: Jernkontoret

At the end of last week, on October 26-27, members of the Steel Academy PhD Network gathered in Hofors for a content-rich two-day meeting. The program included study visits, research exchange, lectures, and networking with representatives from Ovako. Participants were treated to lunch, dinner, and an overnight stay at the Brukshotellet. The meeting was jointly organized by Jernkontoret, Sustainable Steel Region, and Ovako.

The first day began with representatives from Ovako introducing the company and how they work on research and development, as well as recruitment to meet their competence needs. One of the members of the doctoral student network, Tania Loaiza Uribe, works as an industrial Ph.D. student at Ovako and shared her experience of working at Ovako.

After lunch, there was a tour of Ovako's steelworks and the new facility for fossil-free hydrogen, which was inaugurated by Sweden's Prime Minister in early September. In the afternoon, the doctoral students presented their research work to each other and to Ovako's representatives, with Ovako concluding the program by discussing their sustainability efforts and future initiatives.

– For us at Ovako, it was both enjoyable and rewarding to host the doctoral student network, to show the participants our operations, and share information about our exciting initiatives. The Steel Academy, with its doctoral student network, is a great initiative from Jernkontoret. Personal meetings are crucial for development and careers, said Patrik Ölund, research director at Ovako.

The following day the participants visited the Dalavind wind park in Riskebo for a guided tour. Riskebo is just over a mile west of Hofors and is Sweden's first visitor park for wind power. Learn more at

– It was very interesting to see parts of Ovako's operations and to connect Ovako's hydrogen initiative with the visit to Dalavind. It was really great that so many doctoral students had the opportunity to participate and present their research to Ovako and each other, said Lotta Sörlin, research coordinator at Jernkontoret, and involved in the Steel Academy PhD network's activities.

Ovako is a significant supplier of steel for wind turbines. The high purity of Ovako's steel meets the stringent performance requirements for components like gearboxes, power transmission, brackets, and bearings in wind turbines. Did you know that one-third of the world's wind turbines have a rotating bearing that comes from Hofors?

(Find out more about the steel benefits that products from Swedish companies contribute to at

Learn more about the Steel Academy Network:

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The Steel Academy PhD Network currently gathers more than 80 doctoral students. If you or someone you know is a doctoral student and interested in participating in the network, please feel free to contact  Lotta Sörlin at or Helena Malmqvist at